Is a signed release needed to use a picture of an employee on our company’s Facebook page?

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Is a signed release needed to use a picture of an employee on our company’s Facebook page?

Asked on June 1, 2012 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, you do not need a signed release: you can simply make it a term or condition of employment that employees must let you use a picture on your Facebook page, the same as you an set work hours, dress code, have a non-fraternization policy, etc.

That said, a signed release would be a good idea--and, of course, you can require employees to provide it. The release will remove any doubt as to the propriety of using the pictures, and you can include terms in the release absolving your company of any liability from the picture the employee provides (e.g. if the employee provides a picture that is then recognized by someone he or she owes money to or injured, you don't want the employee attempting to sue you--even though (s)he would almost certainly lose--on the grounds that you caused her to be sued or to suffer some other adverse consequence).


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